Japan urged to break away from wartime past

Updated: 2015-10-28 07:38


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China has called on the Republic of Korea and Japan to "eliminate disturbances" to get the trilateral relationship back on track at a key summit this weekend.

Beijing has also urged Tokyo to make a clean break from its wartime past.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a public diplomacy symposium attended by former government officials and specialists from the three countries in Beijing on Tuesday, "Facing history squarely is the foundation for advancing toward the future.

"I hope that the Japanese sincerely reflect on the mistakes they've made in the past, say a final farewell to inglorious history, come up with a brand new look and join hands with the people in China and the ROK," Wang added.

The summit is being held in Seoul on Sunday and is due to be attended by Premier Li Keqiang, ROK President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Wang also said the issue of trust has been the "weakest link" due to factors including history and problems remaining from the Cold War era. Such distrust has "greatly prevented trilateral cooperation from being expanded and deepened".

Yuji Miyamoto, Japanese ambassador to China from 2006 to 2010, said cooperation at all levels is very hard to achieve without political trust.

"The issue of history is certainly one of the dominating factors in building political trust, and I also agree that we should view history correctly, objectively and scientifically," Miyamoto said.

Zhang Tingyan, a former Chinese ambassador to the ROK, said the summit is important not only to the three countries but also to the international community.

"People are hoping that this summit could be a turning point for the trilateral relationship. Recognition of history still differs (among the three nations) as we know, but they should consider the overall situation, narrow their differences and meet each other halfway," Zhang said.

Shin Bong-kil, president of the Seoul-based Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, said China, Japan and the ROK should have a sense of community and achieve reconciliation with inclusiveness during talks on historical issues.

Contact the writers through wangxu@chinadaily.com.cn